The idea that Canadian sommellier François Chartier presents in his book Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor is a very intriguing one. Look at the aroma molecules that give foods and wines their characters, he says, and use that as a basis for pairing foods with wines and with each other. Instead of years of tastings and trial and error, a few simple principles and charts can guarantee exquisite pairings every time.
Intriguing idea, yes; but the author sets it out in a hodgepodge of details with a diaphanous veneer of science, direly lacking the clear explanations of cause and effect that would make it truly useful.
Jarno Smeets has been working for several months on his Human Bird Wings project -- assembling long nylon wings powered by outrunner motors, rigging up a complicated Android + Arduino + Wii arm-waving control system -- and now -- according to the video he's just published -- they work! Man can fly!
This past Saturday, March 17, was the 108th Explorers Club Annual Dinner. It was held, as ever, at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, because that's traditional and also because the Waldorf has a very liberal attitude toward allowing camels and kangaroos to mill around in its ballroom.
Before the live animals are trotted out on stage, the opening hour of the festivity is dedicated to cocktails -- such as the Explorers Club Martini, which has a cow's eyeball in it for garnish -- and exotic eatables, all sourced, prepared, and masterminded by Gene Rurka, the club's "Exotics Chairman."
If we were still in high school, this would be our video art project about the dehumanizing, isolating effect of mass media, and how it's everyone's obligation to take arms against the mind-controlling one-eyed machines.
Lately, when you search for certain measurements on Google -- say you're going to do some baking -- the search engine's calculator returns results with its usual estimable speed. But, for unknown reasons, the result is given in units of six-dimensional meters.
This Toshiba scanner, just demonstrated in Japan, knows what vegetables look like -- just hold up your daikon or mizuna to the camera at the cash register, and it tots up the item. No need for stickers on your food, no need to consult a human, no need to even know what kind of onions you're buying. This is the future.
According to a new study exploring the interrelation of language and emotion, if a word consists of letters typed with predominantly the right hand, it is felt to be more positive in meaning; a word typed predominantly with the left hand is associated more with negative emotion.
Google announced yesterday that before the end of 2012, you will be able to buy augmented-reality smart eyeglasses from the search giant. The Android-powered glasses will have an onboard camera that monitors in real time what you see as you walk (or, heavens preserve us, drive) down the street. The lenses will then overlay information about people, locations, and whatnot directly into your field of view.
We knew this day was coming, but I certainly didn't suspect it'd be so soon. Never again will you have to wonder Where is the closest Pizza Hut? or What make of car is that? or Don't I know her from somewhere? Ubiquitous smartphones have already given us the ability to swiftly look up information with only a moderate disruption. Smartglasses completely remove the mediating step of pausing to wonder and ponder and research: data is simply there, an inseparable part of your visible world.
Look at this video game. It's a great motivator to keep your monitor spotlessly clean -- go on, get your chemical-impregnated microfiber cloth and give it a wipedown right now -- but is it actually fun? I contend not.